An Analysis of the Challenges Posed by ISIS in Syria
The Islamic Sate of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or simply Islamic State is an Islamic extremist militant group. Under the command of mainly Sunni Arabs from Syria and Iraq, the group has intensified its activities within and outside Iraq and Syria. Today, ISIS is an international terror group having claimed responsibility after recent attacks around the globe, including an attack in France that left more than 120 dead. According to the Central Investigation Agency(CIA), ISIS has about 30,000 members. Besides Syria and Iraq where it controls between 2.8 and 5.3 million people, IS also controls small sections of Libya, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The group also has allies in other parts of the world like North Africa and South Asia. In recent years, the challenges posed by ISIS in Syria have become real with world powers including the U.S, France and Britain joining efforts in a bid to flush out the militants from their strong hold; Syria.
A brief overview of the challenges posed by ISIS in Syria
Crushing ISIS has proved to be an uphill task, especially with countries having different approaches towards the situation in Syria. While America has appeared to favor a military solution to the crisis, and ousting of Syrian President Asaad Bashir, other countries like Russia and UAE have a contrary ideology. Notably, such a war would only be successful if regional powers buy the idea and marshal their troops, none of which has shown willingness towards this course. In fact, challenges posed by ISIS in Syria stem from the fact that the crisis thrives on other disputes within the region, including intra-Syrian, Sunni-Shia, Turkish- Kurd, and Iranian-Saudi.
Should America worry about challenges posed by ISIS in Syria?
Initially, ISIS focused on its regional objectives, by taking over huge chunks of Syria and Iraq before the U.S launched a bombing campaign. Presently, ISIS poses threats to every nation of the world with the group calling on its followers in Western countries to carry out deadly attacks at home. This is enough reason for America and its people to worry with the group having gained a facelift of fame after attacks in Paris, Cairo and Beirut.
The challenges posed by ISIS in Syria are complex because the group does not operate in isolation. It is affiliated to other terror groups, especially Al Qaeda, which conducted the 9/11 attack in New York, leaving thousands of Americans dead, under the command of Osama Bin Laden who was killed in May 2011. In January 2015, the U.S authorities arrested a man, days after dual attacks in Paris. It later emerged that the Ohio man was a supporter of the terror group and was planning to attack the U.S Capitol.
ISIS presence in Syria threatening the rest of the world
In a bid to tame ISIS and kick the militants out of Syria, Western intelligence agencies are worried about the number of those who go to Syria and Iraq to fight for the group before they return and cause mayhem. By traveling to these battlefields, sympathizers of ISIS get experience, training and weapons and are linked to other terror networks planning attacks on Western countries.
ISIS supporters have something to cheer about especially after successful hitting targets outside Iraq and Syria, which it seized. The terrible attack of these attacks that always leave the world and more so the Western powers writhing in pain puts them in a lose-lose situation. One of the greatest challenges posed by ISIS in Syria is that beating the militants might motivate terror activities around the globe as the group seeks to revenge abroad.
Worse still, a collapse of ISIS in Syria could set free thousands of ISIS militants who are busy hanging on and defending their territory against fighters aiming at flushing them out. If these tens of thousands were released into the world, they would probably focus on terrorism as they seek revenge against America, and other Western powers.
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